A new-generation divers’ watch, the Rolex Deepsea exceeds the most exacting demands of professional divers in terms of robustness, precision and reliability, while featuring the aesthetic codes characteristic of the Oyster.
Rolex Deepsea – Oyster case and Ringlock System
Created in 2008, the Rolex Deepsea benefits from the Rolex-patented Ringlock System case architecture that allows the watch to resist the colossal pressure exerted by water at the depth of 3,900 metres, equivalent to a weight of approximately three tonnes on the crystal.
The case of the Rolex Deepsea is also equipped with a helium escape valve patented by Rolex in 1967. This safety valve allows excess pressure built up inside the watch case to escape during divers’ decompression stages in a hyperbaric chamber.
New Oyster Perpetual Rolex Deepsea
The new Oyster Perpetual Rolex Deepsea Ref. 126660 in Oystersteel introduced at the Baselworld show 2018, has a distinctive 44 mm case featuring redesigned lugs and sides. Its broader Oyster bracelet is equipped with a resized Oysterlock folding safety clasp. The Rolex Glidelock extension system and the Fliplock extension link have also been adapted accordingly. The new Rolex Deepsea is equipped with cutting-edge calibre 3235, a consummate demonstration of Rolex technology.
Calibre 3235 is a new-generation movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex for a superlative level of performance. A consummate demonstration of Rolex technology, it offers fundamental gains in terms of precision, power reserve, resistance to shocks and magnetic fields, convenience and reliability.
Calibre 3235 incorporates the Chronergy escapement patented by Rolex, which combines high energy efficiency with great dependability. Made of nickel-phosphorus, it is also insensitive to magnetic interference. Thanks to the barrel architecture and the escapement’s superior efficiency, the power reserve of calibre 3235 now extends to approximately 70 hours.
Stringent waterproofness tests
In deep-sea diving, absolute reliability and security are of the essence. Each Rolex Deepsea must therefore undergo the necessary waterproofness tests required for divers’ watches. To this end, a special hyperbaric test tank was developed in conjunction with COMEX (Compagnie Maritime d’Expertises), the world-renowned French company specializing in underwater engineering and hyperbaric technologies. Every single Rolex Deepsea is tested to ensure its waterproofness to a depth of 3,900 metres with an additional safety margin of 25 per cent.
Bezel with Cerachrom insert
The unidirectional rotatable bezel of the Rolex Deepsea is fitted with a 60-minute graduated Cerachrom insert in black ceramic that allows divers to monitor their underwater and decompression time for their safety. The insert, patented by Rolex, is made of an extremely hard and corrosion-resistant ceramic, is virtually scratchproof and its colour is unaffected by ultraviolet rays. The numerals and the graduations are moulded in the ceramic and coloured with platinum using a PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) process. The bezel’s knurled edge offers excellent grip when manipulating the bezel to set dive time, even when wearing gloves.
Legible and functional
Great attention was paid to the legibility of this professional divers’ watch. The Chromalight hour markers and hands are filled with a luminescent material emitting a long-lasting blue glow – lasting up to two times longer than traditional materials. On the bezel, the zero marker of the graduation, in the form of a triangle, is visible in the dark thanks to an embedded phosphorescent capsule.
Rolex Deepsea – Superlative Chronometer
Like all Rolex watches, each Rolex Deepsea is certified as a Superlative Chronometer. This exclusive designation attests that it has successfully undergone a series of tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories and according to its own criteria, which exceed watchmaking norms and standards. These tests are carried out on the fully assembled watch, in order to guarantee its superlative performance on the wrist.
The Superlative Chronometer status is symbolized by the green seal that comes with every Rolex watch and is coupled with an international five-year guarantee.
Bracelet and clasp: Security, comfort and ergonomics
The Rolex Deepsea’s Oyster bracelet is equipped with an Oysterlock safety clasp that prevents accidental opening, and with a double extension system that allows the watch to be worn comfortably over a diving suit up to 7 mm thick, without using any tools. The Rolex Glidelock fine-adjustment system, developed and patented by Rolex, allows the bracelet length to be increased by some 20 mm in increments of approximately 2 mm. The Fliplock extension link is a fold-out link that allows the bracelet on the Rolex Deepsea to be extended by 26 mm.
From the Rolex Deepsea to the Rolex Deepsea Challenge
In 2012, the innovative case architecture of the Oyster Perpetual Rolex Deepsea and its Ringlock System directly inspired the design of the Oyster Perpetual Rolex Deepsea Challenge, an experimental divers’ watch guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 12,000 metres (39,370 feet). Entirely designed and manufactured by Rolex, it can therefore resist the extreme pressure found in the deepest reaches of the oceans.
On 26 March 2012, attached to the manipulator arm of the submersible, it accompanied film-maker and explorer James Cameron on his solo 10,908-metre (35,787 feet) dive to Challenger Deep, the ocean’s deepest point, located in the Mariana Trench. “The Rolex Deepsea Challenge was the reliable companion throughout the dive,” said James Cameron after the historic event.
Commemorative D-Blue version
In 2014 Rolex released a commemorative version of the Rolex Deepsea sporting a deep-blue to pitch-black gradient dial. This D-blue dial is reminiscent of the ocean’s twilight zone, where the last trickle of light from the surface disappears into the abyss. It echoes James Cameron’s journey in 2012 with his DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition, partnered by Rolex and National Geographic Society. As a tribute to this partnership, the “DEEPSEA” marking on the dial adopts the colour of Cameron’s green submersible as it is perceived underwater.
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